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Merit League Scoring Information and Guidelines

1.       3 points will be awarded for a win.

2.       2 points will be awarded for a draw.

3.       1 point for a losing team in a match that is played.

4.       Table position will be determined by the following::

              (a) Number of points.

               (b) Scores differential –descending.

               (c) Matches played – descending.

5.       We do not set hard-and-fast laws, as with league or Cup rugby, but rather guidelines, designed to provide sufficient structure to the competition, without being too rigid.

These are listed below:

i.             Merit league fixtures should take precedent over other fixtures.

ii.            Results should be communicated as soon as possible after the game.

iii.          Players do not need to be registered in order to play – this is to help where clubs wish to try out a new member, prior to registration.

iv.           If a team has to call off a fixture:

a)    Due to lack of player availability, then a ‘default’ victory of 14-0 is awarded to the opposition subject to the match being re-scheduled – the onus is therefore on the cancelling team to endeavour to get the match played. Last season, there were too many late call-offs, several on Saturday morning – we appreciate that one-off/extenuating circumstances can happen, we feel that clubs should have a good idea by Thursday night, and should know for sure on Friday evening, still allowing the opposition therefore a chance of securing a friendly fixture via the pool.

b)    due to unplayable pitches, we suggest that the first course of action is to reverse the fixture if that is possible. Secondly, some clubs may find it possible to play at a neighbouring club. The more likely event is that the game should be re-scheduled, which both clubs should endeavour to do. If the weather is at fault, and both clubs have made reasonable effort, then neither will forfeit.

v.           Teams should start the game with an experienced front row, and therefore with contested scrums. In the event that, at the last minute, this is not possible, on agreement between both captains, the game can take place with uncontested scrums. The referee should obviously be advised.

vi.          A maximum of 5 replacements can be used, where player availability allows, and we advise front row cover where possible. Teams can, however, play without replacements, or anything up to 5, if player availability or requirements in other teams dictate this.

vii.        Similarly, if a team cannot quite raise a full complement of 15 players, ie. They have 12, 13, 14, on agreement between the two captains, they can play short. Games should not be called off for this reason, if the sides are happy to play.

viii.      If a game does not take place, we will allow up to 8 weeks for a new date to be set (not necessarily played). If this cannot be done in the time scale, the forfeit of the fixture or the ‘void result’ will stand. This is to avoid late chase-ups of games/results and/or frantic re-arrangements late in the season.

ix.          In the case of a disputed result or an issue over a particular game, myself and Rob, in consultation, will be the judge of who forfeits the game, or any other conclusion. Due to our respective interest in Ledbury and Droitwich, we will not judge on our own clubs. If we feel unhappy in making any particular decisions, we will refer to the Worcester and Hereford RFU Committee.

x.           In the event of an unsatisfactory conclusion an appeal can be made, by doing so in writing to the North Midlands RFU Competitions Committee.

 6.      It is expected that teams will honour the "gentleman's" agreement and only field teams containing players of 2/3 team standard, as appropriate, to make it a worthwhile competition. The responsibility for team selection must rest fairly and squarely with the clubs.

7.       As outlined above these guidelines are to facilitate playing opportunities for players of all skills and ages.

The Competition will follow the RFU initiative by introducing rolling subs, see (5.6 & 5.7) above.

Any agreement between captains as to number of rolling sub replacement should be communicated to the Referee, who must also agree, before the match commences.

 8       The Referee's decision will be final in any disagreement as to the interpretation of these guidelines.